The days of quick sales and a seller’s market are few and far between. It’s a buyer’s market out there at all levels
So it’s more important than ever to give yourself the edge when selling a home and this includes the top end of the market.
One of the most worthwhile and successful tools to achieving a quick sale at an optimum price is through strategic styling and staging. Never underestimate or undervalue the importance of how your property presents for sale. Image and presentation are everything and first impressions really count.
The virtual viewing
Where do your potential buyers look at your property first? Online is the obvious first. There has been a dramatic increase in online visual marketing in the last few years and a decrease in physical viewings. For the vast majority of on-market property sales, the first port of call for any buyer is on the online property portals. So online presentation is incredibly important.
Your first “viewing” of the property is essentially the online viewing. Based on that, someone will or won’t book in an actual viewing, so if your online presentation isn’t great, you will find it very hard to get would-be purchasers through your door.
Online presentation boils down to three things – photography, virtual tours and great styling. Of the three, great styling is the most important. A home has to be styled perfectly first to look good in photos. People may not even read the description. They’ll look at the photos and then either read on or move on.
As with all products, branding and packaging are crucial to stand out on shelf. Or just like models in a magazine, makeup and styling has to be perfect to achieve a great photoshoot. Your home is no different. And in the Instagram era, your property also has to stand up for itself on social media. Ridiculous but true – if it’s not Insta-friendly, it could be hard to sell.
Even if you are selling your property off-market, staging and photography are still vital. If I contact other agents or potential buyers direct to offer your property as a potential purchase, they will, without fail, ask to see photos first. I keep a digital portfolio of almost all properties I sell, whether on or off-market.
The real-life viewing
Once you’ve passed the photographic test, the second hurdle is the actual, real-life viewing and staging is vital to this too.
A lot of buyers find it very difficult to visualise themselves and their family in an empty home. This is where staging comes into its own.
Clever staging finds a balance between making a home look like a home, without personalising it too much, so that a buyer can still imagine themselves in it. A property will be styled both inside and out, from kitchen accessories, to mirrors, bedding, plants and outdoor furniture – literally every detail is considered.
Professional staging companies are able to present a property to resonate with its core target audience (family, professional single, overseas visitor, rental investor…) and have a huge furniture range and accessories to draw from – everything from large pieces of furniture to paintings and books and they have an extensive portfolio of styles to suit all properties, buyers and markets.
I always recommend to clients that they have professional styling/staging
In many instances it has definitely made the difference in achieving a quick and optimum sale for the price the client was looking for. While it may be easier to accept a £100,000 drop in the sale price than to find another £7-10k of hard cash to invest in the marketing budget of the sale, that relatively small investment will always more than pay for itself in the long run.
Simon Rose, Director, Rose & Partners
Rose & Partners is a residential property specialist, providing personal, discreet and advisory sale services in Prime Central London, Berkshire and Surrey. @roseandptnr